VideoThe Dutch handball players almost certainly were forced to qualify for the European Championship in 2022 with their impressive victory over Turkey. National coach Erlinger Richardson’s team won 32-24 in an empty gymnasium in Eskisehir. Thus, the orange occupied second place in the qualifying group, which qualifies him to be placed directly for the final round.
When leader Slovenia defeated Poland later in the day, placement is already confirmed. If not, the handball men will still have to work hard on their home ground at Almere base in the last group match against the Poles. Dutch handball players have participated in a European Championship only once. That was January 2020 in Norway. Then the team was eliminated from the group stage.
Corner player Alec Smit was one of the Orange stars. He scored six times. The team’s top scorer Kay Smits scored five hits. Superstar Luke Staines stayed on the bench for a long time. The star of the team played the last fifteen minutes only. Danny Begins, Rutger Ten Feldi, Izu Slewters and Samir Binghanem scored four goals.
Richardson’s men had a strong start, advancing very quickly (13-7). The Turks looked a little weak at that point, but they made a good comeback by the end of the match. In the first half, the score was 15-12 in favor of the Netherlands.
In the second half, the hosts, who had yet to win a qualifying match, continued to press hard. Only from 22 to 21 the Dutch national team managed to make their coverage tighter. Steins’ introduction brought more speed and movement into the team. The result was that Turkey barely managed to pass goalkeeper Bart Ravensburgen and that the shots on the Turkish goal were almost all hits.
“It might not have been our best game, but the victory is very important.” “We’ll watch the match between Slovenia and Poland in our hotel room and hopefully we’ll have a little party after that,” said playmaker Baigins after the match on Ziggo Sport.
Baijens played the role of Steins for most of the match. Richardson has saved his most important players, who is also fully active with his club, Paris Saint-Germain. “We had some bad stages, which were a bit dirty, but in the second half we picked them well. With Luke in the team, there was more speed and we scored much easier goals.”
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